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Let’s say I have mowed, weeded and edged, and have trimmed the bushes. You tell me the yard never looked better and you gave me five stars. I worked hard because I know in business that it is not about the sale but the re-sale. A week later I walk by your yard and see someone else mowing your lawn. I ask you why you did not hire me to do it. You tell me that you forgot. You did not remember the wonderful job I did the week before.
That is exactly what is going on in Psalm 95. God is wagging his finger, warning us not to be like the Israelites at Meribah in the desert. What did they do? They forgot. God rescued them from slavery. Then He saved them for the Egyptian army that was about to annihilate them. Then He saved them in the desert by offering water and food. Then, just as they are heading toward the Promised Land, the Israelites tell God that they want to go back to Egypt because the housing and food are better there. Yes, they were struggling in the desert, but they forgot what God had done for them.
Psalm 95 begins with praise to God. What exactly is praise? Suppose someone gave you a scratch ticket for your birthday and you won a thousand dollars. You would be happy. You would also say something about it. You would call your friend or text, saying you won. That is praise. Or let’s say you went to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles and they took you immediately, gave you everything you needed, and had you on your way in five minutes. Would you not call your friends and tell them that the most amazing thing happened to you? Or what if your boss called you in his or her office and handed you a bonus check? Would you not share this good news with others? This is praise.
So there you are praising God for all the things he does for you, the gift of a family, health, eyes to see, not to mention access to eternal life. Then God wags his finger at you and says to you, “now do not forget.”
I have been a religious for forty years. Every day I begin the day with Psalm 95. Every day I begin the day seeing God wagging His finger and saying to me, “Do not forget like they did in the desert.” I tell the Lord, “I am not sure what the day will bring, but no matter what happens, what I may encounter, in terms of hardships, disappointments, or failures, I will not forget how powerful God is. I will not forget how much God can change my life, I will not forget how generous God, and close He is to me.”
God tells me every day not to forget, and I don’t.Back to All Homilies